Take a chance on chess


Breckin Paolinetti

Two competitors ponder their next moves.

The chess club room at Wiregrass Ranch High School has more hustle and bustle than one might imagine: nearly 20 students gathered around desks, playing or watching ongoing games, and cheering on their peers. The energy is high and smiles paint the faces of each club member.

While getting students to join clubs can be difficult, sometimes they do it on their own. Senior Andre Angulo was brought to the chess club by one of his close friends and followed suit by bringing in more members.

“It was nice to just sit, talk, and play together, so I thought my other friends would enjoy it too,” Angulo said.

Even though Angulo can’t make it to every meeting, the chess club’s relaxed rules allow him to attend when he’s able. This informal atmosphere is perfect for cultivating skill in a new game and building comfort in wary students.

Chess club members toil over a match. (Breckin Paolinetti)

Members of this club are more than willing to help one another become familiar with the game as well, so inexperience is no excuse.  

“For me, chess club was a little intimidating at first because I didn’t know how to play,” senior Sienna Paras said.

After watching a few games and being instructed by one of the more experienced players, Paras explained how she picked up the game easily. The congregation of students shows that, under guidance, chess is an easy game to bond over with others. 

Some students enjoy club meetings simply to understand the game better, making time to study the patterns of other players.

Senior Hannah Sheen’s favorite part of the chess club is marveling over the more competitive matches. She explained how these demonstrations helped her gain knowledge of how to play the game, which she is still learning.  

“It’s really interesting to see all the different strategies of playing and how they result by the end of the match,” Sheen said.

This underrated club is a positive way of spending time, building skills, and making friends. No matter the experience level, the chess club is a fun after-school activity for all. If you’d like more information on the club, see Coach Ackerman in room 3-117.